Janine Fuller, manager of the Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium, discusses Freedom to Read Week in Canada, with Joseph Planta.
Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:
I am Planta: On the Line. This is THECOMMENTARY.CA.
It is Freedom to Read Week in Canada, and this year marks the 25th anniversary of this national commemoration. It’s organised by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council of Canada, and it reminds us of the need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting freedom of expression. Censorship is something that is encountered regularly, and throughout this week throughout the country, there will be events such as discussions and debates, as well as displays of material that has been banned or challenged in Canada. Recently there were complaints filed to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the BC Human Rights Tribunal over Maclean’s magazine’s excerpting of a book by the columnist Mark Steyn. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was reviewed by the Toronto public school board after one parent complained about the novel. Formed in 1978, the committee has opposed the censorship of books by Margaret Laurence, John Steinbeck and J.D. Salinger. Joining me now is the author Janine Fuller. She is the manager of the Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium here in Vancouver, and she has been at the fore of the fight over freedom of expression. You might remember their many challenges against Canada Customs over material that they’ve banned saying it was obscene. She’s managed Little Sister’s since 1990, and she’s been recognised by sundry organisations for her work. www.freedomtoread.ca is the website for more information. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Janine Fuller; Good morning, Ms. Fuller.
Freedom to Read website: http://www.freedomtoread.ca